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Representing Canada on The Obesity Society Council



the obesity societyThis week, I will be taking over from Mary-Ellen Harper as the At-Large Canada Representative at the Obesity Society’s Council.

This is just a shout out to all TOS members, who voted for me – thank you for your trust and support.

Here is what I put in my nomination package:

Background and Experience

I have over 25 years of experience in clinical and basic research related to obesity and metabolic health. With over 360 peer-reviewed publications, my research has spanned from studies in human genetics and cell biology to a leading role in numerous international epidemiological and multi-centre intervention trials in the prevention and management of cardiovascular and metabolic disease. I have also played a leading role in the development of numerous clinical practice guidelines and the development of clinical pathways and classification systems, including the Edmonton Obesity Staging System, which is now being adopted for the classification of obesityboth nationallly and internationally (e.g. The American Society of Bariatric Physicians). In my role as Medical Director of the Alberta Health Services Provincial Obesity Strategy and the Edmonton-based Weight Wise Program (2007-2013), I have overseen and guided the creation and establishment of multidisciplinary obesity management programs across Alberta (Edmonton, Red Deer, Calgary, Medicine Hat, Grande Prairie). In 2006, I founded the Canadian Obesity Network, which, with currently over 11,000 professional members, has significantly changed the landscape of obesity research, prevention and management across Canada. 

Service to The Obesity Society

Over the past decade, I have served on various committees of the Society including, finance, membership, outreach and development. I was also on the selection committee for the current CEO of the Society. In all of these interactions I have always emphasized the importance of engaging both researchers and health professionals in the activities of the Society. I have also noted the importance of mentoring young researchers and over the past few years, I have had the privilege of participating in “meet the professor” events with early career scientists and clinicians at the annual scientific meeting. 

Vision For The Obesity Society

In my role as founder and Scientific Director of the Canadian Obesity Network and candidate as Canada’s Representative on the Council I will strive to ensure that The Obesity Society’s work and impact grows beyond the borders of the US. Although there are significant differences in the way that health services are financed and delivered between the US and Canada, we all share the common interest in advancing the science and public understanding of obesity. We also share the common goal of ensuring that decision makers and health professionals learn to take obesity seriously. We also share the common goals of ensuring that policies to prevent and reduce obesity are based on the best evidence and do so without stigmatizing or discriminating against people living with obesity. I envision that The Obesity Society will be seen as an important and strong partner in international efforts to reduce the global burden of obesity and related health problems to improve the health and well-being of all those affected by the consequences of excess weight.

I hope to live up to this vision in the years to come.

@DrSharma
Los Angeles, CA

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